Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Phoenix, Japan

As I have mentioned before, retirement has provided me time to visit parks and other attractions that I just did not have time for when I was working. On Saturday, I visited Ro Ho En — the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. This city park is a joint effort by the City of Phoenix and its sister city, Himeji, Japan. I suspect that most residents of the Phoenix area do not even know that there is a Japanese Garden in Phoenix. Yep, there it is, plopped down in the downtown area over the Interstate 10 freeway tunnel (interestingly, there is no freeway noise).

I found it a wonderful refuge from the hustle and bustle of our over-scheduled lives. A place of tranquility and beauty that refreshes the soul and relaxes the mind.

There is abundant water — waterfalls and mountain streams that flow into the main lagoon. In fact, the waterfall was designed as the focal point of the garden.

The sound of the cascading water is so soothing and thus is integral to the serenity of this wonderful place.

Here a bird examines the lantern which sits at the edge of the lagoon.

A focal point of the garden is the tea house which hosts an authentic tea ceremony the second Saturday of each month the garden is open.

As you sit in a shaded area, taking in all the sights and sounds, you will also notice the fragrance of gardenia, ...

honeysuckle and natal plum. Wonderful!

There is so much more — the grasslands, the mountains, the seashore, the lanterns, the stone tower — but this issue is getting a bit long. So I'll close with the koi. What Japanese Garden would be complete without koi?

A note for those who live in the Phoenix area, the Japanese Garden is closed during the summer months — so if you want to see it this spring, you have to hurry, otherwise you'll have to wait until October.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com